Which of the three following devices is the best for straight VHS to BLU-RAY transfer?
ATI TV WONDER 600
Hauppauge WinTV HVR 4400
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Need more info.
Is your goal:
1) To record your VHS tapes in HD format at 720p or 1080p?
2) To record your VHS tapes in standard definition and just pack as many as possible onto a Blu Ray disc?
My goal is one tape = one disc. I want the lowest possible level of compression I can get away with.
I realize the lower the compression the bigger the file, thats why I'm using Blu-ray.
I'm planning on discarding my VHS collection when I'm finished, so quality is vital.
None of those do TBC, but with low compression you may be able to get away without TBC.
Are these important personal tapes or just TV captures? What speed SP/EP?
If a camcorder tape, which model camcorder?Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
Personally, given the low quality of VHS, I would just transfer to DVD. I doubt you get much more by going to Blu Ray, and it will cost more.
When I transferred my tapes, I went with plugging the VCR into a stand-alone DVD recorder (a Panasonic EH68 from memory). That was simple and worked well, and I recommend it as an approach.
If you must have Blu Ray, you could use a stand-alone Blu Ray recorder instead. Other than the fact that it doesn't have component HD inputs (which is irrelevant for VHS) I really like the look of the Panny DMRBW880. It would do the trick, but is a tad on the expensive side.
Are you just assuming that a stand-alone BluRay recorder will allow higher quality SD, or have you seen some evidence?
There are some specific DVD recorders that are very "kind" to signals from VHS (TBC+DNR built into the recorder itself). I doubt you'll find this tech in a BluRay recorder (but maybe Panasonic have thrown every gizmo they could find into one - I don't know - I don't have one!).
Some people here loop the signals from trashy VHS VCRs through a Panasonic ES10 (for example) on the way to a better DVD recorder and claim miracles (ES10 seems to have something like TBC+DNR). Certain people here claim the ES10 ruins everything. I'm more inclined to believe the former. Some DV camcorders with analogue inputs also work near-miracles when fed VHS.
VHS tape is a pretty low resolution source to begin with. It's somewhere in the neighborhood of VCD (VHS is actually better, but not by a lot). I find it doubtful that you'd notice any difference between a good quality DVD version of the source and a Blu Ray version of the source but I suppose you could always test that for yourself.
Stay with DVD
Some people think half-res (352×480 or 352×576) is sufficient for VHS. It might be, but some players don't upscale it that well.
There are other resolutions (like 528x480 or 528x576 or 544x.... etc) which certainly are sufficient for VHS, but these are only officially allowed by DVB, not DVD. They do work on most DVD players (similar MPEG decoding circuit to STBs, so they support all the modes), but aren't "DVD standard".
The advantage of using fewer pixels (as long as it's still enough pixels to capture all the detail of the source) is that, for a given bitrate, you'll have fewer MPEG-2 coding artefacts.
VCD is insufficient to capture "full" VHS quality - it's only 352x240 or 352x288, which is far fewer lines than VHS. VHS stores the full number of 480+ or 576 active lines of NTSC or PAL. VHS only reduces the horizontal resolution (to about 320 pixels) - it keeps the full vertical resolution (in theory, for luminance at least).
I guess the cheapest alternate for you would be to use a hauppauge hd pvr. It has composite inputs with a svideo input jack.
Assuming you use a good quality vcr to playback with you could capture to 720x480 h264 and use the maximum 13mb/s bitrate. From there you could either author as avchd (probably not likely as it would most likely exceed even a dl disc at any lenghty recording session) or convert the h264 for bluray authoring.
I don't have a bluray burner so I don't know the procedure to take hauppauge h264 files and create a fully functional bluray disc. I suppose you could take it and use tsmuxer and spit out the bluray format with "create bluray disc". It would be rudimentary with only chapters at fixed intervals.
Multiavchd may have full bluray output support. If it does (I haven't looked for it so I don't know) that would be your best freeware option. Then with multiavchd you could tweak everything you need including menus. Then I believe you can burn a bluray disc with imgburn so you could do it with freeware after you purchase a hauppauge hd pvr.
Of course it can only record at 720x480 over the composite/svideo inputs so you are stuck with that resolution. But that should still be more than adequate for vhs.Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
Thanks for the responses. Ok I'll stick with DVD since there seems to be no real gain with Blu-ray. However that still does not resolve my original problem. Which of the three capture devices is best for a straight transfer?
Hauppauge's WinTV HVR 4400 is not sold in N. America, so since you live in another part of the world, availability of the device is another thing to consider. If you can't easily get hold of the other two devices, a Hauppauge product may be the best choice for you. I don't know anything about the Hauppauge WinTV HVR 4400 per se, but Hauppage's newer products tend to produce a softer picture and provide fewer capture options than the ATI TV Wonder 600.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 13th Mar 2011 at 09:44. Reason: clarity
Blue-ray discs and burners have for certain gotten too cheap.
I wouldn't waste a BD-R on a VHS source, just my opinion.;/ l ,[____], Its a Jeep thing,
l---L---o||||||o- you wouldn't understand.
(.)_) (.)_)-----)_) "Only In A Jeep"
I'm buying a new pc the spec is:
INTEL CORE I7 950 (3.06GHZ, 8MB L2 CACHE)
ASUS P6X58D PREMIUM MOTHERBOARD
6GB KINGSTON HYPERX PC12800 1600MHZ DDR3 RAM
ATI 4850 1GB SILENT PASSIVE COOLED PCI-E GRAPHICS CARD
SONY OPTIARC 24X SATA DVD BURNER
Pioneer BLU RAY Writer/ HD DVD Reader / DVD +/- Rewriter
OCZ 120GB VERTEX 2 SATA II ULTRA FAST SANDFORCE SSD DRIVE
MICROSOFT 64BIT WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM
Hope that helps.
The Canopus DV capture devices don't have drivers of their own, they only need a compatible fire wire driver to work.The only Windows 7-related problem report I've come across so far regarding Canopus DV capture devices is that some older ones may need a particular legacy firewire driver installed, or they won't work. A participant in a thread at http://ediusforum.grassvalley.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16490 wrote the only firewire driver that works properly for older devices in in Windows 7 is "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (legacy)". With Windows-7 compatible DV capture software, you are good to go.
If you get the TV Wonder 600, get either the PCI-e version or the PCI version if you can, instead of the USB version. No Windows 7 drivers were released for the TV Wonder 600 USB, and a registry hack is needed to allow the 64-bit Vista drivers released for it to function with Windows 7. I was a participant in a thread to help someone who could not seem to get the TV Wonder 600 USB to work with any capture program he tried running Windows 7 64-bit, although the hack did allow its Vista drivers to be installed. Maybe he made some mistakes and the device itself was perfectly functional, but better safe than sorry.
Although there are Windows 7 64-bit drivers available for the PCI-e and PCI version, in some ways Windows XP is a better choice for this device. ATI released a unified Windows 7 driver package for the TV Wonder 600, 650, and 750 PCI-e and PCI cards. I have the TV Wonder 650, and its proc amp controls were not available for me using Windows 7, but they were available for someone else using windows XP. I haven't read anything about whether or not the TV Wonder 600 proc amp controls are available or not using Windows 7, but my experience makes me think they may not be. Even without the proc amp controls, it is still a good capture device.
@Usually_Quiet: I have to agree with you otherwise I would (as you know) highly recommend the ATI 600 (USB) as my choice. Unfortunately it has a high risk of being problematic with W7.
It's too bad because the ATI 600 can do it all, high quality MPEG-2 and DV, even HD formats, so it makes the Canopus, and other tools including a Hauppauge (SD/HD), even DVRs, rather useless.
I understand about the internal version, but I can only confirm the USB version's abilities.
@Jedi55: As for formats to put on blu-ray, a few things to keep in mind:
I say stick with the SD spec, which is compliant with BD. Any MPEG-2 DvD stream at full-D1 (480i/576i) is also compatible within a BD structure. So go ahead and use MPEG-2 in this method if you wish for choices. (H.264 in SD is also BD compliant, but that is another story - guide from me on this coming up soon, stay tuned. )
However, BD will accept an SD MPEG-2 stream at higher bitrate than DvD which limits to 9800kbps. If you want to encode to 15000kbps then go ahead if compression isn't important. However, I do believe with VHS the Law of Diminishing Returns starts to apply after 8000kbps with MPEG-2, so it may be a waste with a huge majority of Sources.
As for DV, you can capture to it and archive on BD discs as data (~13GB/Hr). If you want compliancy, a re-encode is necessary.
As for DV vs. highbitrate MPEG-2 this is can be a nasty debate with VHS Source. But the good news is that the differences aren't huge in quality.
As for HD, forget it with VHS Source that has resolution well under even DvD's. You will gain nothing in quality, only make it look worse in many cases for a much higher file size. And it will demand more processing too. Not worth it.I hate VHS. I always did.